Plum Point Power Plant aerial view

Plum Point

Location: Osceola, Arkansas

Client: Black & Veatch, Corp.

Services: Drilling, Geophysics, Geotechnical, Materials Testing


Under subcontract to Black and Veatch Corporation, Geotechnology, Inc. provided various services in support of design and construction for the new 665-megawatt pulverized coal-fired Plum Point power plant. The plant is located a few miles south of Osceola, Arkansas. Our services included drilling, sampling, geophysical, specialty geotechnical testing, and laboratory testing

Plum Point Project Background

The Greenfield site is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Geotechnology also performed additional exploration work for the Plum Point Power Partners, the joint venture team constructing the plant on a turnkey basis.

In a series of mobilizations, Geotechnology drill crews drilled and sampled more than 70 borings to depths of 180 feet in alluvial deposits associated with the Mississippi River Basin. Cone Penetrometer Testing was combined with the test borings to establish subsurface conditions for the initial plant design.

Downhole seismic tests and more than 20 resistivity soundings were taken at various phases of the design and earthwork. Additionally, a substantial number of resistivity readings were taken, ranging in depth from 1 to nearly 500 feet.

Geotechnology engineers also performed pile dynamic testing and analysis (PDA) on steel pipe and H-piles. Their objective was to determine pile drivability and capacity to aid in the design and construction of the power plant. PDA was applied to satisfy IBC load testing requirements. This also provided a more economical solution than static testing for this project. The piles were driven using an International Construction Equipment, Inc. (ICE), Model I-36, open-ended diesel hammer. Case Pile Wave Analyses (CAPWAP) were subsequently performed on multiple depths during driving and for restrike conditions at the request of Black & Veatch.

LS Power Group is a joint venture of Plum Point Energy Associates, LLC, Zachry Construction Corporation, Black & Veatch and Gilbert Central Corp. The new plant will utilize pulverized coal boiler technology along with advanced emission controls. This makes it one of the cleanest coal-fired plants in the U.S. while providing reliable, low-cost electricity to wholesale purchasers. Commercial operation of the plant began in 2010.